The future of festival management.

Festivals, Industry Insights, Product, Technology

Appmiral and Beatswitch: building the future of festival tech together

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The digital platforms of Appmiral and BeatSwitch – two leading products in the world of music festivals – will work better together through a new partnership. While Appmiral makes sure that festival visitors are offered the best possible experience, Our festival management software works behind the scenes to help organise these musical behemoths.

Through this partnership, we’re aiming to integrate both platforms, step by step. This will allow organisers to handle the complete organisation of their festival(s) or event(s) extremely efficiently. And that, of course, benefits both promoters and festival visitors!

More on Appmiral

At Appmiral, they’ve spent the past seven years creating festival apps that bring the magic of the festival grounds to visitors’ mobile phones – the perfect digital sidekick to the festival experience. Each year, they have the privilege to work with a brilliant line-up of festivals, sponsors and partners to reach that goal. Their apps are the best-rated festival apps in the world, both on Android and iOS. They help about 20 festivals worldwide offer their visitors a kick-ass digital experience.

Watch their video here.

www.appmiral.com

More on BeatSwitch

BeatSwitch is market leader in planning software for festivals. Starting in 2013, they’ve supported more than 800 events each year for clients such as EDC, DGTL, and Melt! Lollapalooza. We offer different planning modules that allow for a streamlined experience in organisation and data communication. Our flexibility makes us the preferred platform for festival promoters, artists, and accreditation managers, helping them organise festivals smarter, faster, together.

Watch the Alda Events testimonial here.

www.beatswitch.com

Our partnership

In the first version of our integration, we’ll align the artist management and the mobile app’s scheduling functionalities. We’re aiming for seamless synchronisation, eliminating the need for double data input on the festival organiser’s end. We’ll also allow our clients to communicate changes in their planning or operations directly to their festival visitors, through push notifications and interactive content.

In the coming year, we’ll continue joining forces. The teams behind BeatSwitch and Appmiral will put their heads together to reinforce and promote each other’s product offerings. And in the coming months, we’ll be starting some new initiatives together. From sales and marketing strategies to product development and alignment (API, dataflow, analytics,… ) – we have a lot of improvements in mind for 2017’s festival season!

Industry Insights

Four Ways Messenger Bots Will Deliver Value for Your Festival

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On the eve of Facebook’s F8 conference, many awaited the Bot Store announcement for the Messenger app. This feature would open the messaging platform to third party developers, much like Apple’s App Store did for its phones in 2008 (and later for all its other products). The App Store generated over $20 billion for brands and the developer community last year, from which Apple takes a 30% cut.

One of the main reasons why bots are piquing people’s interests right now, is because cognitive computing and machine learning are developing faster than many predicted.

As the world around us continues to become more controllable by our smartphones, Artificial Intelligence powered bots act as personal assistants, concierges, analysts, etc. Since they understand natural language, these bots can easily be accessed via messaging or speech interfaces, paving the way to a future without apps. You can already see the conversational interaction happening: You tell your friends you’re going to “cab it” to the festival on Facebook Messenger, and instantly you’re offered an Uber option.

Tell your friend you’re going to “cab it” to the festival on Facebook Messenger, and  instantly you’re offered an Uber option.

The Bot Store will bring a new wave of opportunities for festivals and brands. Many are saying it will be as big–if not bigger–as the App Store; the phrase “Bots are the new Apps” is already trending. Overall, there are many reasons to believe that bots will have a significant impact:

 

  • Many already have Facebook Messenger, which will be the only download needed to access all of the (Messenger) bot world.
  • Messaging is a familiar interface to most using the internet today, and messaging apps are still on the rise.
  • Messenger Bots won’t be restricted to only messaging, but can embed graphical user interfaces whenever needed, expanding possibilities.
  • Many bots will run on cognitive computing architectures, learning about their users and domains, and improve as more people use them.
  • Facebook already has a massive and well-used infrastructure in place to promote the Bot Store and individual bots.

 

What could and should we do with all these bots? To support a festival, bots–-just like apps– need to first and foremost be beneficial to the users. Essentially, bots will bring value in the same way the internet and apps have so far—with even more emphasis on personalization, context and speed. There are four sources of value for bots:

 

Information

Hit up a festival website, Facebook page, or send an email to the festival organization—in many cases you won’t get a direct response or the information you were looking for. Instead, bots can ask you more detailed questions to define exactly what you need.

How can your festival brand bring users the knowledge they need, when they need it —  when don’t know they need it?

Optimisation

Bots will save time, and you can use them to request multiple services at once. For example: ask Uber to arrange a ride to the festival site, get reminders when your favorite band is about to play, find your friends that are somewhere “left of the stage,” top up your RFID chip to buy more beers — all within the same message.

How can your festival brand–on its own or with other brands–work to enhance the attendee experience in order to reduce time, effort and money?

Personalization

A lot of the festivals apps are about centralizing information and pushing brand messages when you enter the beacon’s radius. With bots, you will see more personalized messaging that has more relevant context to you and your experience.

Bots will enable doing new things that previously unimaginable. Spoken language interfaces could walk you through the festival site to other stages, or recommend food stands based on your Facebook likes. Instead of one general message to all attendees, personalized messages from festival promoter sponsors can be sent to attendees; i Hyper profiling and extra context will get more sponsorship and generate instant ROI for those brands.

How can you get insight into your customers’ personalities, and build tailored experiences around them?

Safety

Ultimately, messaging is about connections. Bots can connect the people and resources you need without complications. Take First Aid at a festival as an example. If you needed medical assistance, you could just message a festival bot that could automatically locate you and send a medical team your way. In another case, the bot can let you know when you need some water based on your spending behavior at the bar or if it’s time to touch up on some sunscreen.

How can your festival communicate about preventive security measures, and create a safer festival environment?

 

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If you liked this post, feel free to share. If you are interested in setting up your bot strategy, drop us a line at thomas@beatswitch.com

 

Events, Festivals, Industry Insights, Product, Technology

Why All Festivals Need a Messenger Bot

BeatSwitch - Festival Management Software

 

We are always looking for new technology and opportunities to innovate the festival industry, but last week, an idea set off at the BeatSwitch office sparked by one of our clients. The client told us that he was struggling to manage his Facebook event page and obtain actionable insights from the data. Another issue was once the Messenger extension was added, messages overflowed, making it hard to keep up.

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Industry Insights

On Virtual Reality and Festivals

VR got us thinking. What are the major festivals working on? How can it work for the whole industry? Let’s look at the opportunities for virtual reality and festivals, and how the issue relates to the live streaming evolution.

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Photo (c) Huffington Post

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Industry Insights

The 3 Most Remarkable Festival Trends of 2015

StreetTeam recently created a great report and infographic based on IQ-Mag’s Festival Report 2015. And darn it, if it isn’t just too insightful for us to keep it from you! Here are our key takeaways on festival trends.

Artist fees are soaring

Artist fees continued to increase throughout 2015, as they did in the years before. Though not really a surprise, it was still the biggest trend and (probably) the biggest concern for festival teams worldwide.

Sometimes fees have even doubled in no more than one year. One festival promoter reported that he had to cut from 180 acts in 2014 to 120 in 2015 because of higher artist fees.

IQ reports that the knock-on effect for bands lower down the bill who are trying to build their fan base is potentially devastating. The result of higher prices for headliners is, ironically, less slots for newer acts…

… but ticket prices aren’t 

Good news for fans though: despite soaring artist fees, festivals aren’t charging these costs directly to their customers. Instead, most festival organizers respond with an increase in capacity.

That also means increased attendance with 46% of festivals reporting sell-out events in 2015, up from 43% in the previous year. Conclusion: increasing capacity is a viable strategy to cope with higher artist fees.

 

📖 Related: 5 Festival Management Trends That Will Shape 2016  📖

 


Headliner announcements are being made earlier & earlier

Festivals are now announcing headline acts eight to nine months in advance. That’s a big difference to the four to five months in advance that used to be the industry norm.

Guardian music news editor, Harriet Gibson, suggests that the reason is that “it’s the competitive nature, and need to draw in young audience members with a one-ticket per year budget, that has taken the promotional experimentation to a new level”.

Gibson also commented on how Spanish festival, Primavera Sound announced its line up by asking fans to download an app to reveal all the details and gain access to an exclusive bonus video of British band, Cinerama. Over at Bestival, they announced their 2015 line-up exclusively on Instagram, taking over the feed with a series of puzzle pieces which fitted together to provide the full bill of artists, and in 2016 they have created their own video to introduce the hotly anticipated annual theme for the event ‘Join us in the future’.

So aside of just announcing earlier and earlier, festivals are also trying to capture (potential) ticket-buyers in marketing channels that are exclusively theirs. The consensus is that these young festival-goers make up the majority of the market and can only visit so many festivals per year. Persuade a few, and you’ve also persuaded their friends: you are now the market leader.

Read the full IQ 2015 Festival Report

Industry Insights

The Ultimate Toolkit for Crowdfunding Festivals

You have a great idea for a festival, but need the funds to get it going? Look no further, BeatSwitch has got your back. No matter what kind of festival, no matter what type of location or concept, you’ll need to secure your backing beforehand. What little people realize is that a crowdfunding campaign is a project of its own, and requires a steady approach.

crowdfunding festivals

Crowdfunding festivals is no walk in the park; Kickstarter alone has already handled nearly 300 000 projects—only a third of which have been successful. The tools in our kit can help you secure a place in the top third while automating some of the typical workflows. Now all you need is your idea and good pledges!

 

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Industry Insights

INTERVIEW: Alex Stevens, Dour Festival Booker

Each month BeatSwitch talks to an artist manager/promoter to share insights across and from the festival industry. Alex Stevens is the first one to go on record, and he’s a special one. He’s not just a talent buyer for Dour: he’s also part accreditation and artist manager, he prepares lineup announcements and works on the festival’s website, … 

Last but not least, he also engineered MECANO – the artist management system that BeatSwitch acquired in 2015. Is there anything Alex can’t do? 

Let’s dig a little deeper into the daily worklife of this computer scientist gone festival allrounder!

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Photo Credit: The Word Magazine

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Industry Insights

Is there a future in crowdsourcing for events?

A Belgian initiative sets out to fill the gap that was left after I Love Techno’s discontinuation through crowdfunding, and an Asian crowdsourcing platform for events has raised over $10m in venture capital. Time for us to carefully explore these ideas that appear to be picking up speed, even though they go against much of how the event industry works. 

HART Festival – Crowdfunding

 

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I Love Techno’s departure from the Belgian scene had many electronic music fans feel left behind. The news came just one year after the legendary festival 10 Days Off’s final edition, and meant that the city of Ghent – where electronic music festivals were pioneered – suddenly had no more flagship events left.

HART appeals to the sentiment of those who feel that Ghent needs a real techno and house festival again, with a logo that clearly resonates ILT’s, say an interpretation of how it would look if it were designed in 2015. They take it back to Vooruit, where  ILT started, and seek to get market validation and sold tickets in advance of a full lineup announcement.

What’s so surprising, is that this is set up by a team without much professional experience in the festival world, and that they are asking for validation beforehand. Though it’s easy, possibly even tempting, to dismiss the initiative as naïve, there is a huge opportunity for the event industry to find out whether or not crowdfunding is a viable path for certain events in the future. HART is a brave shot at breaking two very important industry dogma’s: 1) You need a team with experience and a strong network, 2) the promoter knows what the crowd wants and will present a lineup for them to agree upon or not.

Regardless of how it plays out, HART’s campaign is a project worth keeping your eyes on.

 

MyMusicTaste – Crowdsourcing & -funding

crowdsourcing for events

A Korean startup (based in Seoul) that just raised $10m in series a funding, including an investment from Samsung, and sets out to compete with Live Nation? You would think this news would have spread further than just the tech industry, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Whether it’s a case of limited pr efforts or a shortage of media interest is of little importance; let’s look at how this company works and how it disrupts the way the event industry goes about things.

It’s no coincidence that MyMusicTaste was founded in Asia. Not many Western pop stars are able to step on solid ground there, and often shows are canceled due to low ticket sales, among various other (undisclosed) reasons. It is a risky territory for events, and crowdsourcing both lineups and funds (by starting ticket sales before confirming the show) takes away most of the risk whilst also involving and activating fans early on. Co-creation taken to the lineup level.

So here we see an initiative that disrupts the same top-down way of working that HART challenges, but MyMusicTaste takes it one step further by actively engaging fans to find out whether or not there is a market for certain acts – not just validating a concept that the promoter should be trusted to fill in. Also, MMT is founded in a pretty much unsaturated market, so it offers a very unique opportunity to find out what happens if the industry grows both around traditional promoters and new business models. Whereas in the West, we can only see it as a transition from traditional to disruptive ideas.

So though it’s still very early to tell, there’s a lot to say for crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, even though they are hard to embrace in an industry that is still used to working top-down, and without co-creation in lineups and production. We for one are excited to find out what’s next.

Industry Insights

EBOOK: Festival Insurance and 3 Other Steps to Surviving Cancellations

Gearing up for festival cancellations

At first, you think you won’t need it. After all, preparing for a bad turn of events requires a lot of time, money and energy, and everybody knows you can use every second and every penny for your actual festival. But think about all the damage a storm could do to your organization.It would be a shame to let a good thing go to waste because of one strike of bad luck.  You’re not in this for a couple of years; you got into this business to build a long-term story.

 

In this eBook, you’ll learn:

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Free eBook

That’s why you ought to invest in decent festival insurance, among 3 other things. Don’t let one strike of bad luck knock you out for good. Be prepared for when it all goes horribly wrong, so that on top of a cancellation or any other crisis, you don’t end up with a financial deficit too.

Don’t let one unfortunate event hurt your business. Be prepared for when worst comes to worst.

 

 

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Industry Insights

Event Promoter Is the 5th Most Stressful Job in the World

A Job for Perfectionists

To be a great event planner you truly have to be obsessive with the details–if you weren’t you wouldn’t be doing your job well. This constant desire to make sure things are  just right for visitors can be extremely hard on planners. Being a Type-A-everything-must-be-perfect person makes event promoters exceptionally devoted to their jobs but it’s fair to say that it also contributes to stress in their job. People with laidback, devil-may-care attitudes probably wouldn’t be as stressed out in the same position – but they also wouldn’t have what it takes to run a large scale event.

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